Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Foothill-South 241 Toll Road Fails to Meet Criteria for Bush Administration Override

Elected Officials and Save San Onofre Coalition Voice Strong Opposition To Toll Road Through San Onofre State Beach

DEL MAR, Calif., Sept 22, 2008 In an eight-plus hour event and with more than 3,000 toll road opponents in attendance, state and local elected officials and members of the Save San Onofre Coalition spoke before three Bush Administration officials overseeing a Commerce Department hearing on the Foothill-South Toll Road.

"The people of Orange and San Diego Counties reject this road," commented Bobby Shriver, Santa Monica Councilman and former president of the California State Park and Recreation Commission. "They have proved that by showing up in huge numbers at the Parks Commission hearings, at the Coastal Commission hearing and again today at the Commerce Department hearing."

Testimony focused on how the toll road fails to meet the Commerce Department's specific criteria to overturn the California Coastal Commission's Feb. 2008 decision against the project. Some notables testifying included: California State Treasurer Bill Lockyer; State Senator Christine Kehoe (D-San Diego); Santa Monica Councilman Bobby Shriver; Irvine Councilman Larry Agran, who as a TCA board member cast a vote against the proposed toll road alignment; and San Diego Councilwoman Donna Frye.

"There is no compelling national interest to over-ride the California Coastal Commission, the toll road fails to meet the criteria for an override, and the proposed toll road's adverse impacts outweigh the purported and questionable benefits of this project," Lockyer stated in his testimony at today's hearing. "Reasonable alternatives exist that both TCA and the Federal Highway Administration have refused to explore adequately."

"No credible basis exists to believe the TCA's 11th hour claim that its project is essential to national security. The Marine Corps has publicly rejected the claim, presumably because running a toll road through Camp Pendleton would inevitably impede, not improve, our military readiness," added Lockyer.

"The TCA and the politicians comprising its board provided no new information that supports a Bush Administration override of the State of California," stated Elizabeth Goldstein, president of the California State Parks Foundation and member of the Save San Onofre Coalition. "For the TCA, a single-purpose agency focused solely on building and operating toll roads, to select a route through the 5th most popular state park in California is a bad idea...one that must be stopped."

Big Props to all those who went to the hearing!!!

Monday, September 22, 2008


Please go to the Commerce Dept. Hearing on the Toll Road - You are Needed

Where : Del Mar Fairgrounds
When: TODAY September 22, 2008 ~10:30 A.M. - 8:30 P.M.

WHAT: A public hearing regarding the toll road through San Onofre State Beach. Throngs of toll road opponents gathering to ensure the Federal Government upholds the decision made by the California Coastal Commission--no toll roads through state parks!

WHEN: Monday September 22, 2008. The hearing is from 10:30am-8:30pm. Of course, we would like everyone to attend all day (take a sick day, like the rest of us: ) or come for at least a few hours.
WHERE: O'Brien Hall at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd. Del Mar, CA 92014. Just off the I-5 in Del Mar at Via de la Valle exit.Do you have friends who are out of state and can't come? They can stay updated throughout the day. http://twitter.com/savetrestles

Agenda for Hearing:

Surfrider, and our partners, will be providing supporters with tee shirts and other goodies (first come, first served). We will have food coupons to distribute to those who sign in at the welcome booth. Since we are a nonprofit, it's hard to feed everyone huge meals, but we do want to make sure that our supporters are taken care of and have sustained energy to be at the hearing all day. Upon arriving, please check in at the welcome booth to receive your tee shirts and food coupons. Please note the following agenda is a rough estimate.

• 10:30am-1:30pm: Testimony from Elected Officials. There are several outstanding elected officials speaking on our behalf including Bobby Shriver, Donna Frye, Bill Lockyer and others.

• 1:30pm-2pm: Testimony from Organizations. Surfrider Foundation and other interesting organizations will be heard during the next few hours.

• 2:00-2:30: Official Hearing Break. We are having a rally in the pavilion area behind O'Brien hallcome and learn more about how the day will go and what to expect.

• 2:30-5:00: Continued Testimony from Organizations and Native American Tribes.

• 5:00-5:30: Official Hearing Break. Please be sure to visit our letter writing station during the break. We want to fill the drop boxes with letters opposing the toll road.

• 5:30-8:30: During this time, organizations will finish speaking and the general public will begin testimony. It's challenging to say exactly what time the general public will speak. As you know, not everyone from the public will be able to speak since the meeting ends exactly at 8:30pm. See the list of speakers below.

• 8:30pm-9pm: Meet us outside of the O'Brien hall as we gather to celebrate our efforts, enjoy acoustic music, and listen to special guest speakers. Recognized singer-songwriter Steve Ybarra will play music which has been featured on radio and television across the country. Shaun Tomson, World Champion Surfer, will be our featured guest speaker. Upon listening to Shaun, we will hear from prominent environmental leaders. As you know, there will not be a decision made at the hearing, so it's important that we come together to ‘celebrate our efforts of the day' and begin to look forward! We expect the Federal Government will make their decision by then end of the fall/early winter.

View list of speakers: click here If you plan to drive yourself please note that the Del Mar Fairgrounds charges $9 for parking. Check out carpool belwo. Please pass this around to everyone who cares about protecting our State Parks! We need thousands of people to attend!

Also, please review guidelines for the hearing. click here Attending hearing is much like being in a court room; we need to be calm, cool and collected. We can't cheer, hold our signs above our heads, or be distracting. Read the rules--they are long, but they say it all! See you on Monday Sept 22 at Del Mar…

Your pals at Surfrider,